My Turn, Sam Post: Judge not best choice for speaker at meeting of Democrats

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 14, 2023

I write to you today as a concerned citizen and a proud Democrat. We’re at a pivotal moment in North Carolina’s history, with the controversial SB 20 bill currently awaiting the Governor’s veto. This bill poses a significant threat to women’s healthcare, potentially leading to the closure of Planned Parenthood centers and worsening maternal and infant mortality rates in our state.

In the wake of these urgent issues, I find myself questioning the choices made by our local Democratic party. This month, the party has scheduled Superior Court Judge Michael Adkins, a respected Republican figure, as the speaker for the Democratic Party Breakfast. While I hold no critique against Judge Adkins, I can’t help but feel that this decision is tone-deaf, given the current political climate.

I have proposed an alternative. Why not postpone Judge Adkins’ appearance, or better still, invite two speakers – Judge Adkins and a prominent figure in women’s rights or healthcare? This isn’t to overshadow Judge Adkins’ contribution, but to amplify the voices that need to be heard most right now.

Our chairperson, Geoffrey Hoy, has shown a commitment to diversity and inclusion, demonstrated by the previous breakfasts with young female speakers. However, in light of the recent political shift following Tricia Cotham’s party switch, it’s clear that we need to do more.

Despite the resistance I’ve met with from the local Democratic party, I feel compelled to speak up. Our party must be a platform for the concerns of its primary constituents. If we don’t stand against the outrageousness of this bill now, and clearly state our belief that this is a healthcare issue, not a moral one, we risk alienating those we are meant to represent.

As a 66-year-old man, I’m not directly affected by this law. But as a member of a community and a family that includes young women who will be, I feel the weight of responsibility to voice these concerns. This isn’t just about me or those who attend the breakfasts. It’s about the many people who, like me, engage with the party’s activities on platforms like YouTube. It’s about the young women who are a substantial segment of our society, whose voices matter.

I urge the local Democratic party to consider these suggestions. We need to adapt and evolve our methods to address the shifting political landscape, and stand up for the rights and health of women in our state. This is not the time for complacency, but for action.

Sam Post lives in Salisbury.